Hospitality – Part 5

Hospitality Series

This week we have covered, the why of hospitality and who to invite, as well as ideas on what to serve, how to prepare, and preparing for hospitality with your children.

On this final day of our 5 part series, I’d like to share some thoughts on being a hostess and also address some common objections someone might have to being hospitable.


As the hostess, it is not only good for us to help our guests feel comfortable and welcome, but it’s also good to make sure their needs are met to the best of our ability.

1.  Have the Meal Ready

Unless you have planned for your guests to come before meal time, it is good to try to have the meal ready when they arrive.  Of course, there may be a couple of last minute things to finish up, but you shouldn’t just be putting your roast on to cook for 2 hours when they walk in the door.  It’s good to be ready to serve the meal soon after your guests arrive.

2.  Be Aware of Guests Needs

Do they need some more water or coffee?  Do they seem hot or cold? Maybe they could use another napkin, or offer them seconds on the food.

As a hostess it is a good practice to be attentive and aware of what is going on with your guests.   Always be thinking about your guests needs, not to the point of being stressed out, but in a thoughtful, caring way.

3.  Don’t Get Easily Offended

Having people over opens up opportunity to be easily offended.  Once in a while someone might make it obvious they don’t like the food you fixed, seem to be bored stiff, or scared of your family pet.  Sometimes people just say what’s on their mind, or they are nervous about what to say.  More than likely, they really aren’t trying to offend you.

One time we when we had a family over, the husband walked in the door, immediately looked at the walls and proceeded to ask if I don’t like to put things on my walls because, “I sure don’t have much up there”.  Those are opportunities for us to show grace and not take comments too personally; and they are times in showing hospitality that we can look back on and laugh.

4.  Think About Allergies

It’s nice to ask ahead of time if your guests have any food allergies.  Lots of people have allergies to nuts or fish, and it is easy to plan a meal without either of those ingredients.  I have found that when someone has an allergy that is harder to plan around, like gluten,  they usually offer to bring a separate meal or in some way tell you not to worry about it.  Also, if your guests are allergic to your pets, it would be thoughtful to put them up in another area of the house (your pet, not your guests :)).

Common Objections To Hospitality

1.  My House Will Get Messed Up

Some of you may be leery about having company over in fear of things getting broken, stained or messed up.  In our experience we have had very little of that happen.  Even if it does, the blessing and joy of having people in your home far out weighs the possibility of something getting broken.

2.  My House Is Too Small

We had some friends of ours invite us all over for dinner (I think there were 8 of us at the time).  They lived in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment.  Some of the kids sat on the floor to eat and others ate on t.v. trays at the couch.  Everything worked out great and we had a wonderful time of fellowship.  It was so neat to see their willingness to have a lot of people over with such a limited space.

Another family who lived in a small apartment too, decided instead of hosting us in their apartment they would have us over for a picnic in the park area of their apartment complex.  The kids had fun playing at the park and having a picnic, Jim and I enjoyed a beautiful day outside with friends.  Don’t be afraid to have people over because of  the size of your house, be creative with the space you have.

3.  Time

Life is busy.  There are many things clamoring for our attention, but we can usually find time for the things we truly want to do.  If your schedule really is packed and for some reason you can’t cut anything out to make time for hospitality, again, be creative.  If your evenings are filled, have someone over for a Saturday brunch.

There are lots of ways of showing hospitality. You don’t have to serve a meal in order to be hospitable.  In this series I wanted to focus on the practical side of hospitality through having people over for a meal and fellowship in your home.

Lastly, we have considered many different aspects of showing hospitality, and what I have shared in this series is by no means exhaustive.  At the same time, I want to encourage you to not be overwhelmed with the details.  If you simply give some basic thought and attention, I think you will find your times of having people in your home to be very enjoyable and a blessing to you, your family and your guests.

Do you have any tips for being a gracious, thoughtful hostess?  Are there any unique ways or times you have had company over?  I’d love to hear in the comment section.

2 Comments on “Hospitality – Part 5

  1. Thank you Nicci for all you shared this week on hospitality. Since we are currently renting and our home being a little far out from our friends, I think I’ve made excuses of not having people over and I’ve missed that fellowship time. Your postings this week have encouraged me in several ways.

    I really enjoy baking/cooking for my family but I begin to question my abilities of cooking the right thing and begin to allow this fear or insecurity to cause me to make excuses. But there have been other times that instead of allowing this fear to keep me from opening my home, I have simply invited the family to come for just fellowship/dessert and this eliminated the pressure I was feeling and we enjoyed our time just the same.

    I think with the economy hurting so many people financially and our grocery bills adding up so quickly just within our own family, I have also used this excuse a time or two and simply let my desire of fellowship to fade away. Instead your postings have caused me to create a list of meals that I can begin with and then begin to watch when those items are on sale.

    Thanks for the encouragement to once again participate in this wonderful time of fellowship. We still remember our precious times in your home and the fellowship and love we felt. Special memories indeed.


    • Thanks Nancy! That’s a great idea to watch for ingredients to go on sale and stock up on what you will need for company. I think it’s a great idea to have people over for just dessert, we’ve done that lots of times. That’s a good idea for someone who is unsure about having people over, doing dessert isn’t as intimidating as a whole meal, it’s a great way to break into hospitality slowly. Thanks for your honesty, I struggle too sometimes with letting our grocery budget keep me from inviting anyone over, that’s wonderful you are putting a plan in place to make it happen. We treasure our times with your family too.

Leave a Reply